May 26, 2021 | 8AM TO 4:10PM PDT | ONLINE

synthetic biology
Biopharma Conference 2021

Learn key insights into how 2020 transformed the Biopharma Industry and what new technologies and diagnostic capabilities are continuing to accelerate drug discovery.

Previously featured on:


We Are Building A Healthier Future With Biology

JOIN US ON MAY 26, 2021

The race to produce COVID-19 vaccines in record time validated the tools and methods of the biopharma industry. Therapies like mRNA vaccines were discussed long before the global pandemic, but there was little momentum to bring them to market. This paradigm has shifted dramatically over the last year. Millions of people have received a COVID-19 vaccine and the pandemic may be finally drawing to a close. But for the biopharma industry, the end of the pandemic is the start of a new chapter: what global health challenges are biopharmaceuticals slated to tackle next?

For the first time ever, SynBioBeta is hosting a special, one-day special to answer all your burning biopharma questions. What’s the current state of CRISPR-based medicine? What new investors are entering the biopharma space? What’s next for mRNA vaccines? These are just a few of the key topics our expert panelists will address.

The biopharma industry is in the public eye like never before. Now is the time for biopharma innovators, entrepreneurs, and investors to build on the successes of 2020 and push the boundary of what’s possible in diagnostics and therapeutics. Our Biopharma event is your opportunity to forge new connections and engage with speakers and fellow attendees. Get expert answers to your questions, explore potential new partnerships, novel technologies, networks and so much more. Be inspired to build a healthier world through biology.

Featured Speakers

Jake Glanville

founder, CEO & President


Jacob Glanville is an Entrepreneur and Computational Immuno-Engineer. As Founder, CEO and President of Centivax, he enjoys collaborating with multiple partners to generate exciting new technologies in biomedicine.

Aoife Brennan

Ceo & president


Dr. Aoife Brennan is Synlogic’s President and CEO. She is an experienced physician scientist and drug developer responsible for the successful development and registration of multiple transformative medicines. Prior, she was Biogen’s VP and Head of the Rare Disease Innovation Unit.

Karl Handelsman


Codon Capital

Karl is a seasoned venture capitalist in early-stage biotech. He has been working with Steve Blank, the guru of “Lean Launch”, to apply his methods to biotech startups. He also founded Codon Capital to focus on early-stage therapeutics, research tools, and synthetic biology.

Ester Falconer


AbCellera Biologics, Inc.

Dr. Falconer is responsible for AbCellera’s long-term strategy for expanding its technology stack, which searches, decodes, and analyzes natural immune systems to find antibodies that its partners can develop into drugs to prevent and treat disease.

Janice Chen

Co-founder & CTO

Mammoth Biosciences

Co-founder and CTO of Mammoth Biosciences, a startup developing the CRISPR platform for diagnostics and therapeutics. She received her Ph.D. from UC Berkeley, was a Forbes 30 U 30, Endpoint’s Top 20 Women in Biopharma, and gave a TEDx talk on the potential for CRISPR to democratize diagnostics.

Benjamin Oakes

Co-Founder, CEO, & PResident

Scribe Therapeutics, Inc.

Benjamin Oakes PhD is co-Founder and CEO of California-based gene-editing company Scribe Therapeutics, a spin-out from Nobel Laureate Jennifer Doudna's lab at University of California Berkeley. Ben received a Ph.D. in Molecular and Cellular Biology from UC Berkeley.

Laura Sepp-Lorenzino


Intellia Therapeutics

Laura Sepp-Lorenzino, Ph.D. is the CSO at Intellia Therapeutics and a recognized expert on nucleic acid therapies R+D. She held leadership positions at Vertex, Alnylam and Merck, serves in several SABs and is a BOD member for Taysha Gene Therapies

Mickey McManus

Senior Advisor & Executive Coach


Mickey is a pioneer in pervasive computing, collaborative human/machine innovation, human-centered design, and education. He is a founding member of BCG's Deep Tech Mission for Good that focuses on Codesign along with Nature to tackle major societal challenges.

Nick Milne

Co-founder & CSO


As the Co-founder & CSO of Octarine, Nick's scientific career spans academia & industry with a core focus on yeast metabolic engineering & fermentation which is being used at Octarine to develop biosynthetic processes for natural & novel cannabinoid & psychedelic molecules.

Jonathan Solomon



Mr. Solomon was the co-founder and CEO of ProClara (formerly NeuroPhage), which is pioneering an approach to treating neurodegenerative diseases. Under his leadership, the company raised more than $100 million. He holds an M.B.A. with honors from the Harvard Business School.

Dawn Thompson

VP Microbiology & Automation

LifeMine Therapeutics

I leverage my expertise in fungal microbiology, molecular genetics, transcriptomics, high throughput comparative genomics, evolutionary biology and synthetic biology to crack the code of therapeutically relevant natural products encoded in fungal genomes.

Martin Engel

Lead Scientist & Head of Application Science

Inventia Life Science Pty Ltd

Dr Martin Engel is the Lead Scientist at Inventia Life Science, driving the development of hydrogel 3D cell cultures and organoid models. Dr Engel has extensive experience in developing and using 3D cultures, including stem-cell derived organoids.

Karen Tkach Tuzman

Senior Editor

BioCentury Inc.

Karen guides BioCentury’s coverage of emerging biology and technologies. She has written extensively about synthetic biology and data science, covering innovation in industry and academia, and dissecting trends in company formation and investments.

Greg Merril

Co-founder & CEO

Adaptive Phage Therapeutics

Greg Merril is co-founder & CEO of Adaptive Phage Therapeutics. APT is a clinical-stage biotech advancing phage therapy for drug resistant infections. He served as Chair of several international phage therapy conferences.

Kristy Hawkins

Co-founder & CSO


Kristy has nearly 20 years of experience engineering microbial hosts for the production of small molecules. Prior to co-founding Antheia in 2015, she earned her Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering at Caltech and worked as a scientist at Amyris and Lygos.

Eric Hobbs


Berkeley Lights

Dr. Eric D. Hobbs is CEO of Berkeley Lights. He is an inventor & Mechanical Design PhD passionate about transforming concepts into product, operations, structured problem solving, precision engineering, MEMS, intellectual property, & system-level design.
see all speakers

Meet Your Hosts

John Cumbers

Founder & CEO, SynBioBeta

John began his career at NASA Ames, in the heart of Silicon Valley, where he sought answers to how humans could live to visit the far reaches of our universe. Now at SynBioBeta, he works to empower a community of bio-entrepreneurs, companies, investors, researchers, visionaries, and thought leaders to bring projects to life. Through his leadership at SynBioBeta, John aims to facilitate the critical scientific and entrepreneurial collaborations that will shape the future of humanity.

Karl Schmieder

Founder, messagingLAB

Karl Schmieder is the founder of messagingLAB, a strategy and consulting firm for biotechnology and synthetic biology companies to create and execute strategies that drive the industry forward. Karl also is the co-author of What’s Your Bio-Strategy? and a founding member of New BioCity, a group of New York City-based life science entrepreneurs helping expand the definitions of biotechnology.

What Our Attendees Say About Us...

Come learn the latest technologies, hear the big announcements in the field, make new partnerships, meet investors, and discover new companies.
"SynBioBeta has the best mix of speakers - you can expect to see anyone ranging from a startup to a fortune 500 company"

Massimo Portincaso

Managing Director & Partner, BCG

"SynBioBeta is one of the most exciting places on earth for synthetic biology entrepreneurship aficionados like myself"

Seth Bannon

Founding Partner, Fifty Years

"Over the past year, the COVID-19 has resulted in the cancelation of events across industries. That hasn't been the case with SynBioBeta. In fact, their virtual events have helped me imagine what networking can look like. At a time when we're more isolated, SynBioBeta's platform for making human connections remains a bright spot"

Karl Schmieder

CEO, MessagingLab

"SynBioBeta offers a uniquely creative and though-provoking meeting place for synthetic biology innovators, investors, and thought leaders to collaborate in solving our world’s biggest problem through biology. These events are unparalleled in our industry."

Karyn Riegel

Deputy Director Brand & Community Engagement, Leaps by Bayer

Take A Sneak Peek Inside The Synbiobeta Events App


Dopamine, disinformation, and the pursuit of science

A Leaps Talk with Tristan Harris on shaping human progress through biology
Tristan Harris is a design ethicist and critic of how the web is downgrading humanity. In this fireside chat with SynBioBeta founder John Cumbers, Harris will explore how the synthetic biology community ought to think about this digital moment in history. What happens when the technology of social media meets the biology of our minds? How does this color the public conversation around tackling global challenges like hunger, genetic disease, and climate change? Learn how tech and biology work for and against us in building a better world with biology.

Technology, culture, and forging audacious aims for our future

A Leaps Talk with George Church, DA Wallach & Kira Peikoff
In a time of COVID, climate-induced wildfires, and political division, how do we keep researchers and the public united to tackle humanity’s most pressing problems?? This conversation brings together a synthetic biology pioneer, an iconoclastic artist/entrepreneur, and a science journalist/bioethicist to explore the technological and cultural trends shaping biotechnology today. We’ll explore the most promising biotech tools for future-proofing humanity, how entrepreneurs and start-ups are catalyzing progress, and our obligations to one another in a shared vision for our biological future.

This Is NOT Another Virtual Event...

More Interaction 
Than You Can Ever Imagine

Breakout Sessions

Interactive breakout sessions bring you in-depth conversations addressing some of the biggest questions in synthetic biology today. Meet with expert speakers and attendees on the SynBioBeta app!


Pre-recorded panels of synthetic biology experts discuss the biggest issues impacting the bioeconomy and the future of the biotech industry. This is your chance to gain industry insights from today’s biotech biology thinkers and entrepreneurs


Connect, partner, and engage. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, networking was often limited to being in the same physical location. At SynBioBeta, we’re embracing new ways of building relationships through the anytime-anywhere potential by virtual space.


Our unique virtual platform brings Q&A discussions to a new level. Ask your questions to industry experts live on video and interact with other attendees in real time from anywhere in the world.





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2 days of interactivity

Meet new investors

New business opportunities

AI powered 1-to-1 matching

Access to our exclusive community

Live Q&A sessions

Bioeconomy Hub

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Buy now and save up to $3500

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Everything in the Event Only PLUS...

12-month digital pass to all main SynBioBeta events (4+ events)

Exclusive Members ONLY events

12-month access to the Bioeconomy Hub platform

Inner-circle ONLY opportunities

What Can You Expect 
From This Conference?

This interactive conference will give you insights and perspectives from leading global brands and the startups that are transforming the consumer packaged goods, fashion, foods, construction, and electronics industries with engineered biology. Biotechnology’s impact has long been underestimated due to the mistaken belief that biotech is a subset of the pharmaceutical industry. Everything from apparel to packaging is shifting from chemical-based manufacturing to biological processes.


- What is consumer biotechnology and why does it matter now?
- What is a brand and how do we build one?
- How do we engage consumers with ingredients and products produced using the tools of biotechnology?
- Do consumers care about bio-tech derived ingredients? How are rare ingredients being “brewed” in the lab?
- How do those ingredients perform compared to “traditional” ingredients?
- How can we feed the growing population in the face of changing climate?
- What strategies are cellular agriculture companies adopting to make sure their products reach the shelves.
- Can synthetic biology be applied to fashion to make it more sustainable?
- How will the colors of fashion change when dyes are sustainable?
- How do we design performance into materials when we are able to start building at the atomic level?
- How can companies turn their waste streams into assets?
- Is that sustainable? What opportunities do investors seek in consumer biotech companies?
- How should consumer biotech companies engage the public to prevent another GMO backlash?

Our Partners Include:

Our Agenda